What if There was a Business School for Virtual Professionals?

(Psst…interested in starting a business as a virtual assistant? There’s a special offer at the bottom of this post. If you’re the impatient sort you can click here.)

Do a search for ‘how to become a virtual assistant‘ and you’ll get a slew of information provided by a variety of sources from Entrepreneur .com to some obviously uninformed authors who are looking to increase traffic to their website by using a popular search term.  In fact, the search I did for this post 10 minutes ago returned over 5 million hits.  Sounds like an abundance of information available at your fingertips doesn’t it?

Sure.  That is if you want to spend thousands of hours sifting through tons of inaccurate information and just plain nonsense.  Oh and don’t forget, if you’re doing the search in the first place you most likely don’t know what is valid information and what’s not.  You could spend all of those hours only to find yourself  more confused that you were before you started reading.  Trust me, I know.

I hear from wanna-be, new and struggling virtual assistants and virtual paralegals every week wondering how in the world I built a successful business.

I started out like many of the rest of you, with perhaps two major exceptions.  One, I was unemployed and desperate.  And two, I had some experience running my own craft based business way back in the dark ages; otherwise known as my twenties.   The desperation gave me the motivation I needed to do the trial and error thing over and over and over again.  If something didn’t work, I had no choice but to try something else.  The craft business experience gave me a tiny bit of business owner knowledge of things like business structure, licensing and registration that I wouldn’t have had a clue about otherwise.  Truthfully, the desperation was a bigger benefit, but those two items are the only things I may have started out with that other virtual assistant wanna-bes  might not have the benefit of.

So how did I build a successful business? 

Read moreWhat if There was a Business School for Virtual Professionals?

Business Lesson of the Week: Standing out in the Crowd

Disclaimer: I know that I use virtual professionals (virtual assistants, virtual paralegals, etc.) as an example in a lot of my posts, like the one yesterday for example.  But to be honest, most of my posts, e-books and coaching materials apply to any small or micro-business providing services. I just happen to have the inside scoop on my own industry, and like most people, I write what I know.  So for my readers that aren’t virtual professionals, just replace that term with your own industry, because trust me, it applies there too.

 

notlikeothersYesterday I published a post about some pretty sucky websites that I’d observed during a web search for virtual professionals.  I’m sure a cry went up from tons of people with free or template driven websites defending their choice. And I know of at least one person that complained that my website was, in their own words and spelling:

Read moreBusiness Lesson of the Week: Standing out in the Crowd

How to Work with a Virtual Assistant Successfully- Top Secret Tip #7

Previously in this series we’ve been focused on preparing and finding a virtual assistant that fits your needs on several levels.  In this tip we’ll be exploring the experience after you’ve signed the contract.  We’ll start with: Top Secret Tip #7: Ideal Clients get Ideal Service In a previous post we talked about defining  what … Read more

How to Work With a Virtual Assistant Successfully- Top Secret Tip #6

In my last post I discussed the importance of conducting consultations with in your search for a virtual assistant.

Top Secret Tip #6:  The Contract-

When you’ve found the virtual professional you feel comfortable and confident with, let them know that you’d like to work with them.  If they too feel that you’re a good match for their business they should then mention drafting a contract or agreement for you to sign.

Any virtual professional worth their rate is going to not only want to have a signed contract/agreement but they are going to have one of their own.  You should not be required to draft one.  If the professional you’ve chosen does not, my suggestion is to look elsewhere.  This is a sure sign of someone who is either new to the business or is not business savvy.

Read moreHow to Work With a Virtual Assistant Successfully- Top Secret Tip #6

How to Work With a Virtual Assistant Successfully- Top Secret Tip #5

Over the past month or so I’ve been sharing a few key secrets to building a successful relationship with a virtual assistant.  In the first four, I’ve shared tips for determining your business and personal needs, preparing yourself and your business and some of the places where virtual assistants can be found.

Today we move on to Top Secret Tip #5- Don’t Skip the Consultation

Hopefully, after doing your initial search you’ve narrowed the field down to between 3 to 6 possibilities.  Most virtual assistants should offer a free consultation, normally conducted via phone or e-mail.  This consultation can loosely be compared to an interview.

Consulting with a virtual professional is going to be much different from interview processes you may have come to know in the traditional sense.

Read moreHow to Work With a Virtual Assistant Successfully- Top Secret Tip #5